Ireland: A transition to multi-ethnic society
In the last ten years Ireland has experienced dramatic changes that have transformed the political, economic and cultural landscape. The Celtic Tiger years have brought hitherto unknown wealth and prosperity. They also turned the tide of emigration. Ireland for the first period in its history experienced substantial immigration. This was not simply a flow of returning emigrants. Between 1996 and 2001 around 80,000 migrant workers were issued with visas and permits to service the labour demands of a booming economy. There was a dramatic rise in the number of asylum seekers from a mere 39 applications in 1992 to in excess of 10,000 in 2001.